76 A SEARCH IN SECRET EGYPT
kind of semi-coma, my consciousness was momentarily blotted out, and the next thing I knew was that I had been transported to another place. I found myself in a long passage which was softly lit, although no lamp or window was visible: I fancied that the illuminant was none other than the halo-like emanation around my companion combined with the radiation from the luminous vibrant cord of ether which extended behind me, yet I realized that these would not sufficiently explain it. The walls were built up with a glowing pinkish terra-cotta coloured stone, slabbed with the thinnest of joints. The floor sloped downwards at precisely the same angle as the Pyramid entrance itself descends. The masonry was well finished. The passage was square and fairly low, but not uncomfortably so. I could not find the source of its mysterious illuminant, yet the interior was bright as though a lamp were playing on it.1
The High Priest bade me follow him a little way down the passage. "Look not backwards/' he warned me, "nor turn thy head." We passed some distance down the incline and I saw a large temple-like chamber opening out of the farther end. I knew perfectly well that I was inside or below the Pyramid, but I had never seen such a passage or chamber before. Evidently they were secret and had defied discovery until this day. I could not help feeling tremendously excited about this startling find, and an equally tremendous curiosity seized me as to where and what the entrance was. Finally, I had to turn my head and take a swift look backwards at what I hoped was the secret door. I had entered the place by no visible entrance, but at the farther end I saw that what should have been an opening was closed with square blocks and apparently
1 Dr. Abbate Pacha, Vice-President of the Institut Egyptien, spent a night in the desert near the Pyramids, together with Mr. William GrorT, a member of the Institut. In the official report of their experiences, the latter said: "Towards eight o'clock, in the evening, I noticed a light which appeared to turn slowly around the Third Pyramid almost up to the apex; it was like a small flame. The light made three circuits round the Pyramid and then disappeared. For a good part of the night I attentively watched this PyramM; towards eleven o'clock I again noticed the same light, but this time it was of a bluish colour; it mounted slowly almost in a straight line and arrived at a certain height above the Pyramid's summit and then disappeared." By pursuing enquiries among the Bedouins, Mr. GrorT discovered that this mysterious light had been seen more or less frequently in the past, the traditions of its existence stretching back centuries. The Arabs put it down to guardian-spirits of the Pyramid, but GrorT tried to find a natural explanation for it, though without success.